He chuckled again. Mr. Pulcifer whistled, apparently expressing resignation.
“All right, Cap’n,” he observed, cheerfully, “just as you say. No harm in tryin’, was there? Never catch a fish without heavin’ over a hook, as the feller said. Maybe somebody else that ain’t heard will buy that stock, you can’t tell.”
“Maybe so, but— See here, Raish, don’t you go tryin’ anything like this on—on—”
“I know who you mean. No danger. There ain’t money enough there to buy anything, if what I hear’s true.”
“Oh, nothin’, nothin’. Just talk, I guess. Well, Jeth, I won’t keep you any longer. Goin’ to hang on to your four hundred Development stock, I presume likely?”
“Yes. I shall sell that at a profit. Not a big profit, but a profit.”
“Sho! Is that so? Who told you?”
“It was,” the gruff voice became solemn, “it was revealed to me.”
“Revealed to you? Oh, from up yonder, up aloft, eh?”
“Raish,” sharply, “don’t you dare be sacrilegious in my presence.”
“No, no, not for nothin’, Cap’n. So you had a message from the sperit world about that stock, eh?”
“Yes. It bade me be of good cheer and hold for a small profit. When that profit comes, no matter how small it may be, I’ll sell and sell quick, but not sooner. . . . But there, I’ve profaned the Lord’s day long enough. I came over here this mornin’ to visit Julia’s grave. There was a scoffer in our pulpit, that young whippersnapper from Wapatomac had exchanged with our minister and I didn’t care to hear him.”
“Oh, I see. So you come over to your wife’s grave, eh?”
“Yes. What are you lookin’ like that for?”
“Oh, nothin’. I thought maybe you was chasin’ after Lulie. I see her meanderin’ over this way a little while ago.”
“Um-hm. Looked like her.”
“Was there—was there anybody else?”
“We-ll, I wouldn’t swear to that, Cap’n Jeth. I didn’t see nobody, but— Godfreys mighty! What’s that thing?”
The thing was the brown derby. Galusha, crouching behind the tomb, had been holding it fast to his head with one hand. Now, startled by Pulcifer’s statement that he had seen Miss Hallett, he let go his hold. And a playful gust lifted the hat from his head, whirled it like an aerial teetotum and sent it rolling and tumbling to the feet of the pair by the cemetery gate.
Jethro Hallett jumped aside.
“Good Lord! What is it?” he shouted.
“It’s a—a hat, ain’t it?” cried Raish.
From around the tomb hastened Mr. Bangs.
“Will you gentlemen be good enough to—to stop that hat for me?” he asked, anxiously.
The light keeper and his companion started at the apparition in speechless astonishment.
“It’s—it’s my hat,” explained Galusha. “If you will be kind enough to pick it up before— Oh, dear me! There it goes! Stop it, stop it!”